According to Forbes, the average number of car accidents an adult will experience throughout his or her lifetime is about once every 17.9 years. This means you will likely have from 2-4 auto accidents during your life, although it is likely at least some of them will be relatively minor. Car accident injuries are something nobody wants to go through, yet many of us will at some point in our lives. Perhaps you are simply driving home from work, or out running errands when another driver collides with you.
If the other driver was being negligent or careless, then his or her insurance is responsible for your injuries. Depending on the severity of the accident, the insurer may also be responsible for lost wages if you are unable to return to work as well as other damages. It is important that you have an experienced car accident attorney on your side during the aftermath of a car accident to ensure you get the medical treatment you need as well as payment for your damages.
New Orleans Legal, LLC, has been helping people just like you after they were involved in a car accident. While sometimes an accident is just an accident and no one is to blame, other times the driver’s negligence directly caused the accident. You should not be left to face medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering through no fault of your own. If you are the victim of a negligent or careless driver, New Orleans Legal can help you get your life back on track.
What are the Primary Car Accident Injuries?
Car accidents virtually always cause some level of damage. The most obvious, visible damage is what you see on your vehicle following a car accident. Car accidents can also damage your body, sometimes in ways that are not immediately visible. Automobile collisions involve significant levels of force applied very rapidly. The level of force as well as the direction of the force can twist and bend a body in ways it was not meant to twist and bend. Some of the most common car accident injuries include the following:
- Neck/Back Injuries—Neck and back injuries are among the most common types of injuries following a car collision. Perhaps the most common type of neck injury resulting from a car accident is whiplash. Because whiplash is a soft tissue injury—therefore more difficult to definitively prove—a claim of whiplash is often met with disbelief. Whiplash is a very real injury that can cause pain and other problems for weeks, months, or even years. Although whiplash is typically the result of being rear-ended, whiplash can also result from any other type of car accident. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, fatigue, dizziness, and tingling or numbness in the arms. Severe whiplash can also result in blurry vision, sleep disturbances, depression, memory issues, and difficulty concentrating. Other neck and back injuries include a herniated disc, facet joint injury, or a neck fracture. A herniated disc occurs when the force of the collision causes one of the bones in your spine (vertebrae) to push into your spinal canal where it puts pressure on the spinal cord—the bundle of nerves that carries messages from your brain to other parts of your body. The facet joints are the connections between the bones of the spine that allow the spine to bend and twist, keeping the back from slipping too far forward. The impact of a car crash can cause damage to one or more of the facet joints along the spine, leading to long-term immobility and pain. The impact of a car collision can also cause a neck fracture. If you suspect you have a neck fracture following a car accident, do not move without medical assistance as the movement could further injure your spinal cord, potentially causing paralysis.
- Brain Injuries, Concussions, and Traumatic Brain Injuries—Concussions and mild brain injuries are frequent following a car accident. Although a concussion is typically mild and non-fatal, some can be more serious, causing lasting damage. Concussions may go undiagnosed when the victim believes he or she is “fine.” Losing consciousness is not a prerequisite to a concussion, but those with concussions may experience headaches, slurred speech, confusion, loss of energy, and possibly loss of consciousness. When left untreated, a concussion can result in a potentially deadly collection of blood between the brain and the skull (hematoma). The resulting pressure can damage the brain’s ability to properly function, and in some cases, the damage can be permanent. Traumatic brain injuries are a more serious form of brain injury following a car accident. Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs, following falls. Any time the force of the collision is sufficient to slam your brain against your skull with violent force, a TBI is possible. A severe TBI is the result of the brain moving within the skull with force or when a foreign object pierces the skull and brain tissue. A moderate to severe TBI can cause changes in mood or sleep, seizures, nausea, vomiting, numbness in the extremities, confusion, fatigue, and other serious cognitive disabilities.
- Broken Bones—Broken bones are common following a car accident, particularly pelvic bone fractures. Other common broken bones from car accidents occur in the fibula (lower leg) and the femur (upper leg). Despite the fact that the leg bones are strong, the force of a car collision can crush the car into the leg violently. Broken arms, knees, and facial bones are also commonly seen following a car accident
- Spinal Cord Injuries—A sudden blow to the spinal cord or surrounding tissues, ligaments, discs, and vertebrae can cause these sensitive tissues to become crushed or dislocated, potentially causing lifelong disability in the form of paraplegia or quadriplegia. A spinal cord injury can damage the nervous system, interfering with motor function. Even when the spinal cord has not been severed, there can be serious, long-term health issues. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include loss of feeling, paralysis, spasms, pain, difficulty breathing or coughing, or loss of bowel and bladder control. Spinal cord injuries can develop days after a car collision, so it is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately following a car accident.
- Burns, Scarring, and Disfigurement—During a particularly bad car accident, parts of the vehicle(s) may catch on fire, causing burns to those still inside the car. Burns can be very debilitating, taking months to fully heal, and perhaps leaving permanent scarring and disfigurement. For the most severe burns, all layers of the skin are destroyed, and extensive measures must be taken, such as skin grafts. Severe burns can lead to long stays in the hospital, multiple surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and much more. Your face could also be disfigured as a result of shattered glass during the accident. When your face is disfigured, it affects every aspect of your life. You may be embarrassed to go out in public or to return to work because of your disfigurement. Disfigurement, scars, and burns can take an extreme toll on your life. You deserve an advocate who will fight for your rights and your future to make your life easier.
- Internal Injuries—Internal injuries may not always be apparent—yet another reason you should always be checked out medically following a car accident. You may have one or more broken ribs, which, if left unattended, could potentially damage other organs or blood vessels. Many victims of car accidents suffer a pneumothorax that occurs when a rib punctures a lung, causing the lung to collapse and release air into the chest When the stomach is severely compressed during a car accident, there can be a rupture of the abdominal aorta—an injury that can potentially be fatal. Any internal organ can be damaged during a car collision. Liver lacerations, kidney damage, and ruptured spleens are all common internal organ injuries caused by car accidents. Car accidents can also cause blood vessel trauma, preventing the blood from clotting, and leading to unchecked internal bleeding. Those with internal bleeding may experience a very pale complexion, feeling cold, abdominal pain, lightheadedness, thirst, and fatigue.
Why You Should Always Seek Medical Attention Following Car Accident Injuries?
When you are involved in a car accident your body receives a tremendous jolt of adrenaline. This adrenaline rush can mask symptoms of injury—even serious injury. This is why every person involved in a car accident must seek medical attention immediately after the accident. While you may think you are fine, hours, days, or weeks later you could find out you are not at all fine. Unfortunately, by this time, it can become extremely difficult to convince the insurance company to pay your claim. They may be operating under the theory that if you had really been hurt badly you would have immediately gone to a doctor.
The Importance of an Attorney from New Orleans Legal, LLC
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a strong advocate in your corner—someone who knows the law, knows how to deal with insurance companies, and will fight for your future. You will find that the attorneys at New Orleans Legal, LLC meet all these criteria and more. We understand that your future may look very bleak right now, and we believe we can change that. Contact New Orleans Legal, LLC today for a free comprehensive consultation.